Wagoner County Deputies arrested a man they said set the Porter Dollar General on fire while he was working there.
The Sheriff's Office said the building has at least $1 million in damage.
Porter Mayor Sharon Payne said the community relied on the Dollar General. Now since it’s been closed for more than 3 months, everyone has to go at least 15 miles to the closest grocery store.
Wagoner County Deputies arrested Daniel Moon at his house in Muskogee, three months after they said he set the Porter Dollar General on Fire.
“He was an employee of the store and he was employed at the time the fire was intentionally set,” said Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliott.
Documents said Moon turned in his resignation the day of the fire. Investigators learned Moon was irritated he wasn’t being paid enough and wasn’t able to work as many hours as he wanted to. Documents said video surveillance shows Moon walking down the aisle where the fire started, then walking into the managers office to watch the video monitor. It said a minute later there was smoke and then flames.
“The whole store was destroyed. All the contents were destroyed,” says Elliott.
Deputies said there were customers and another employee inside the store. Documents said investigators found charcoal and lighter fluid around where the fire started.
“There was absolutely nothing around the focal point of that fire, electrical or anything like that that could have caused the fire.
Mayor Payne said this town relies on the Dollar General, especially the elderly, who walk to the store to get their groceries because they can’t drive.
“The town of Porter depends on sales tax revenue from their businesses there to fund their town government, and to fund the operations of the town,” said Elliott.
Sheriff Elliott said it’s a big loss for the community.
“What we are hoping for right now is the dollar store is going to come back in, rebuild that store so they can continue providing service for the town of Porter,” says Elliott.
The mayor said she has been told the store will reopen, possibly at the beginning of the year.